iTunes 11 to get visual revamp, beefier iCloud ties?

With Apple's annual music event on the horizon, the company is rumored to be cooking up an overhauled version of its iTunes software that will sport a new look.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read
Apple's iTunes 10.
Apple's iTunes 10. Apple

Just like it introduces new versions of the iPod at its annual music event, Apple's made a habit of doing the same with iTunes, the company's free music jukebox software.

The rumor making the rounds today is that version 11 of the software's going to be a big update to coincide with the launch of iCloud, Apple's cloud-based media service.

The iDownloadBlog (via MacRumors) reports that Apple's at work on a new interface for iTunes 11, one that more deeply integrates the company's music store. The more tantalizing bit is how the new software is said to tie into iCloud, specifically the saved data from apps.

"iCloud is also going to be more closely integrated with iTunes... This means if you back up your iDevice to iCloud, that same backup will be stored locally on your computer," the blog notes. "Also, app data from iCloud will be synced closely with iTunes. For example, if you beat a level in Angry Birds, that level data will be synced to iCloud and then to your iTunes library."

With iCloud, Apple offers app developers a limited amount of data (64KB to be exact) that can be ferried over to other devices. So far, Apple's pitched it as a way to transfer things like settings or progress, but nothing larger. Developers also have to adjust their applications to make use of the feature. Apple's been testing this integration with beta pre-release versions of iTunes 10.5, but so far these versions have not brought over anything that falls outside of this 64 KB key-value data. It's unclear from iDownloadBlog's report whether this represents a broader chunk of data.

iDownloadBlog's report follows up on a Boy Genius Report story from yesterday suggesting that iTunes 11 would bring support for books, letting Mac users read content purchased from the iBookStore in one piece of software. Until now, iBookstore buyers have been relegated to reading on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad through the iBooks app.

Apple's last big overhaul to iTunes was last September with the release of version 10, which added the integrated Ping social-networking service for music, HDTV show rentals, AirPlay support and that love it or hate it new logo.